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Resolving the extended stellar halos of nearby galaxies: the wide-field PISCeS survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 May 2016

D. Crnojević
Affiliation:
Texas Tech University, Physics Department, Box 41051, Lubbock, TX 79409-1051, USA email: denija.crnojevic@ttu.edu
D. J. Sand
Affiliation:
Texas Tech University, Physics Department, Box 41051, Lubbock, TX 79409-1051, USA email: denija.crnojevic@ttu.edu
N. Caldwell
Affiliation:
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
P. Guhathakurta
Affiliation:
UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
B. McLeod
Affiliation:
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
A. Seth
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
J. D. Simon
Affiliation:
Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
J. Strader
Affiliation:
Michigan State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
E. Toloba
Affiliation:
Texas Tech University, Physics Department, Box 41051, Lubbock, TX 79409-1051, USA email: denija.crnojevic@ttu.edu UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Corresponding
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Abstract

In the wide-field Panoramic Imaging Survey of Centaurus and Sculptor (PISCeS), we investigate the resolved stellar halos of two nearby galaxies (the elliptical Centaurus A and the spiral Sculptor, D ~ 3.7 Mpc) out to a projected galactocentric radius of 150 kpc with Magellan/Megacam. The survey has led to the discovery of ~20 faint satellites to date, plus prominent streams and substructures in two environments that are substantially different from the Local Group, i.e. the Centaurus A group dominated by an elliptical and the loose Sculptor group of galaxies. These discoveries clearly attest to the importance of past and ongoing accretion processes in shaping the halos of these nearby galaxies, and provide the first census of their satellite systems down to an unprecedented MV < −8. The detailed characterization of the stellar content, shape and gradients in the extended halos of Sculptor, Centaurus A, and their dwarf satellites provides key constraints on theoretical models of galaxy formation and evolution.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2016 

Footnotes

This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

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